Although much of the focus in Penn State Athletics is on the basketball team’s upcoming March Madness affair with Texas A&M, that doesn’t mean that the football program doesn’t continue to chug along in its offseason. In fact, the first glimpse of light that football isn’t too far away came yesterday when the Nittany Lions completed practice No. 1 of 15 for the spring.
Day One... Let’s GO! pic.twitter.com/OHWPCSlzdc— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) March 14, 2023
When you add in that Penn State Wrestling will be going for another national title this coming weekend, and it’s clear that Penn State football is taking a backseat. Granted, I’m sure James Franklin likes it that way because a quiet spring practice probably means a good spring practice.
Speaking of Franklin, he did give a press conference before kicking off the spring sessions. For the large part, there weren’t too many major takeaways. But a few things that stood out to me:
- Franklin asked why no one is asking about Drew Allar being in a boot anymore. Good jokes by funny guy Franklin, but a sign that Allar is healthy for this spring.
- Staying with the QBs, Franklin said they want to split reps evenly among Allar and Beau Pribula. Franklin went onto allude that there may be a Tommy Stevens-esque package for Pribula this upcoming season.
- Coziah Izzard, Tyler Warren, and Theo Johnson were all described as having “bumps and bruises” and would be limited in some capacity this spring.
- While Olu Fashanu will be a “full go” on the offensive line, Hunter Nourzad and Landon Tengwall will have “slightly modified” practices for the first couple sessions. Franklin did say that they think Tengwall will be back at full go by practice 3.
- Drew Shelton will be battling Caedan Wallace at right tackle for the starting job.
- Franklin talked about size at defensive tackle again, since a number of defensive tackles on the roster dropped weight this offseason. He said they’ll never “chase size for size sake” while stating that speed — even at defensive tackle — is a major factor. He wrapped up the DT talk by, again, mentioning that everyone thinks they are Aaron Donald but that isn’t the case. Kind of an “all over the place answer” but I think his point is: finding natural 300+ pounders who keep their quickness is tough.
- Torrence Brown is back with the program as a graduate assistant. He joins a host of other Nittany Lion alums who are on the staff — Deion Barnes, Terry Smith, Dan Connor, Calvin Lowry, Ty Howle, and Alan Zemaitis to name a few.
- The plan is for the Blue-White Game to be an actual game again this year. Last year, due to the numbers along the offensive line, it had to be modified. That shouldn’t be the case this year.